We'll have some fun, speculative conference realignment chat later this week. We'll also get into the Devonte Fields situation once we know more. But let's distract ourselves by diving into one of America's favorite past times--unapologetic optimism.
Chris Hackett and Chucky Hunter will have All-American-worthy Seasons
We’ll start with the boldest prediction. In a pool of very talented defenders, Chris Hackett is going relatively unnoticed. He’s on every other list for All-Big 12,
but he’s not a unanimous selection like Devonte Fields nor does he appear on 95% of them like Sam Carter does. He hits harder than anyone else on the team, collects a lot tackles doing so—up until the last game, he led the team—and he plays the zone as good as anyone I’ve seen in the past few years. Hackett will play the Rust Cohle to Sam Carter’s Marty Hart and by season’s end, everyone will know his name. There will just be less Lonestar and Camel Lights.
Chucky Hunter (who seems like the happiest guy ever) has gotten more preseason love than Hackett, so I like his chances more. It’ll be interesting to see how the departure of Devonte Fields will effect Hunter. It obviously won’t change his talent, but the approach for other teams will be different sans Fields, thereby possibly denying Hunter to become a breakout star. My hopes are still high though.
I’m also going to pepper in a little Davion Pierson love because this dude is pure fire. Side note: Pierson was just voted the most underrated player in the Anonymous Player’s Poll.
Kyle Hicks Emerges as the Most Exciting Running Back
We'll see a lot of BJ Catalon and Aaron Green…no doubt. But Hicks could become the most exciting running back on this team. The new spread will give the running game a different look, but what we’ll see from Hicks we’ll like…a lot. Hicks stirs up a lot of Emmitt Smith comparisons. Let’s just ride that optimistic wave.
Jaden Oberkrom becomes MAJOR
For J-Krom, the new offense should compliment his leg well. I think we can all agree the offense will be improved, but the question will remain until August 31st is how much it will be improved—and even then we won’t have all of the answers. At the very least, the new offense will be good enough to give J-Krom more opportunities, and hitting three or four a game could make all the difference between TCU going to a bowl versus staying home.
TCU Finally Beats Texas Tech AND Oklahoma State (At Home Too)
Texas Tech and OSU have been two bugaboos for TCU since joining the Big 12 (as have Kansas State and Oklahoma). They took Tech to triple-OT in 2012 and lost a very weird game in 2013. OSU’s been a slightly different narrative, but as the Cowboys are rebuilding their team and making their first trip to the Fort (thanks Rick Perry), expect the Frogs to get that one too.
The Later the Games=More Fans, More Wins
We talked two weeks ago about rivalries, but the Horned Frogs’ greatest enemy is the sun. Even worse, it affects the side of the stadium that’s actually into the game. TCU will still play mostly day games, and the sun will still sadly be there (GO AWAY, BULLY), but not having any 11am games yet is a good omen.
I’m also going to call that we finally win the blackout game this year.